Tom Shriver

Tom works in the non-profit sector and spends a lot of time worrying about how he will fit all of his games in his small apartment. He is a co-host of The Drinking Meeples podcast, craft beer lover, and is engaged to a hobbit. If Tom's not playing a game, he's probably watching The Office.

Today, Bézier Games announced that Ultimate Werewolf Legacy will be released at Gen Con in August.  Many are familiar with their game Ultimate Werewolf where players are given secret roles are either working together to identify the werewolves (if you’re a villager) or working together to get rid of all of the villagers (if you’re a werewolf).
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy adds elements that make decisions made in this social deduction game impact in future games.  In addition to a secret role, players will be given a family card that incentivizes players to work with their family members…as long as nobody in that family is secretly working against them.
Players are able to gain special abilities that carry on from game to game, too.  The players aren’t the only thing evolving throughout the game, though.  The village itself will change throughout the game.  Both of these elements lend to high variability in the game as you can play through the campaign multiple times with different results.
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy implements an 80+ page diary that walks the game moderator through each session.
The Diary has been designed so that players with no previous werewolf playing experience can both play and moderate. The Diary is structured into 5 distinct chapters with 3 game sessions in each chapter, as well as an introductory Preface game session. Players can jump in and out for individual sessions, but they’ll have the most fun if they player all the sessions in a chapter. Each chapter can be played in a single evening. At the end of the 16 game session campaign, the Diary will be a record of exactly what happened in your village, and who was ultimately responsible for what it became over time.
A replay pack is available for purchase for those who wish to get a fresh diary and new family cards in order to play the game again.
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy was co-designed by Ted Alspach, (Ultimate Werewolf, Werewords, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf) and Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy, Seafall, Betrayal Legacy, and Downforce).
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy and Replay Packs can be preordered at, and will ship in August 2018.

IDW Games and Taberna Jogos announced a new game, Galaxy Hunters, last week.  Galaxy Hunters is a 2-4 player sci-fi worker placement game where players assume the role of mercenaries hired to hunt and harvest mutations that have gone wild.  Galaxy Hunters is designed by Daniel Alves (Masmorra).  The game features giant robots and massive monsters as players upgrade their mechs with weapons and items.  The game includes 4 Mega Mech figures, 14 ship miniatures, 4 player boards and a whole galaxy of cardboard tiles and game elements.

Although Steve Jackson Games does not have any shareholders (other than Steve Jackson himself), it does have a lot of people that take part in its success.  The company refers to these folks as stakeholders and their annual report is directed towards them (employees, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, volunteers, and people who play their games).  The annual Stakeholders Report gives a transparent look at some of the inner workings of Steve Jackson Games.

Munchkin and Zombie Dice, the evergreen games of the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) lineup, dropped to $5.5 million (down $500,000) from last year. Even with the drop in sales of these titles, SJG anticipates a break even or slightly profitable year. Due to the decline in sales, SJG plans to try and keep the top ten Munchkin games and expansions available at all times, but everything else will see out-of-stock times with the possibility of going away for the immediate future.

SJG is making slow progress with their employee manual and acknowledges the need to finish this to have more established processes in-house.  Additionally, the company is having a hard time meeting deadlines without involvement from upper management.

Those were the low points of 2017, but there were some high points, too.  The Fantasy Trip, a roleplaying game, is being worked on for Kickstarter.  This is Jackson’s first RPG from 1977, published by Metagaming.  When Metagaming went out of business, the rights to the game were in limbo, but SJG has since secured the rights.

Munchkin still receives a lot of attention from SJG and Munchkin Shakesphere, Munchkin Spell Skool, and the Munchkin Gift Pack all did well in 2017.  The Munchkin Collectible Card Game is set to go on sale on February 21, 2018, as well and is receiving a lot of attention due to the collaboration from Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson.

Steve Jackson Games also partnered with CMON and Asmodee Digital.  Their partnership with CMON allows CMON to create Munchkin-themed board games.  Their partnership with Asmodee Digital is aimed at bringing a Munchkin video game to fans.

In addition to all of these exciting things, the Ogre Video Game launched in October, Munchkin Valentines sold well, the forums remain active, and GURPS added on-demand printing to Amazon.

SJG saw mixed success/failure with the Ogre Miniatures Set 1 (behind on delivery), Ogre Reinforcements (slow sales), and Ghosts Love Candy (reprint was stopped).  SJG changed their staffing structure to try to focus the creative team on making games, but it didn’t work out as planned and the company is exploring new ideas.

Steve Jackson Games saw failure with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (took a lot of time from upper management and is costly, but selling well), Port Royal (cheaper European copies are outselling SJG copies), and (it’s an old site that requires a lot of attention).

SJG’s priorities for 2018 are to support the Munchkin CCG, complete all outstanding Kickstarter commitments, maintain support of the original Munchkin games with a new tuck box expansion set and two or three new base games, and launch a successful new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter with a 2019 or 2020 delivery date.

There’s more covered in the Stakeholder’s report, but this gives a glimpse at 2017 for Steve Jackson Games.

Toy Fair 2018 is right around the corner.  February 17-20 will mark the dates of this New York Trade Show. Cryptozoic Entertainment will be previewing a lot of new games at this year’s fair. Rick and Morty has been a popular IP recently and Cryptozoic is bringing three Rick and Morty titles along with them: The Ricks Must Be Crazy, Pickle Rick, and The Rickshank Rickdemption.   In addition to the Rick and Morty games, Crypotzoic is adding two new entries to their DC Deck-Building series: Rebirth and Crisis Expansion Pack 4.  They are also bringing The Arrival (Martin Wallace), a strategy board game where players assume the role of a tribe leader and Wallet, a 2-7 player party game where players need to convince the cops of their innocence.  Cryptozoic will preview these games (and a few more) at its booth (#5344) during the Toy Fair. 

IDW Games and Asmodee International announced last month that Stephan Sauer’s Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty’s Trail will be available in multiple languages including Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

Furriarty is terrorizing London and it is up to Purrrlock Holmes to stop him before he completes his plans and escapes! However, Purrrlock cannot do it alone and it is up to you, as a newly inducted Inspector at Scotland Pound, to bust members of Furriarty’s gang in order to help Purrrlock get closer to the bewhiskered baddie that’s been bullying all of Baker Street. Get ready Inspector, the game is officially afoot.  From Jerry Bennington, VP of New Product Development, “Purrrlock Holmes is such a fun game and we are happy to be able to work with Asmodee on this and have this game available for gamers all around the world.”


If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live as a nomad, A-Games is bringing the experience to your table with Prehistory.  Prehistory is a Complex board game for 2-4 players ages 12+ where players take on the role of a nomad branching off to start a tribe of their own.  Use markers to help you go fishing, hunting, migration, painting, gathering, or performing a ceremony.  The game also allows players to use markers as resources instead of actions.  The player with the most progress and wealth will be the winner! Prehistory offers asymmetric player boards and is completely language independent.  The box contains the rules in English, German, French, and Hungarian with plans to add more languages in the future.

The game includes a game board, player boards, tiles, cards, and tokens (including 184 resources/other wooden components).  Prehisotry is designed by Attila Szőgyi (Ave Roma) with art by Gyula Pozsgay (Ave Roma, Hexpanse, Magitics) and Attila Szőgyi.

Earlier this week, Smirk & Laughter Games announced: Before There Were Stars….  In this 3-6 player game, players will tell the mythic creation story of “their people” while drawing information from the Constellation cards that they draw. Players are encouraged to tell stories of origins, heroes, and the fall of their civilization.

This “feel-good” game lets you appreciate the boundless imagination in all of us and awards points for the best story moments — allowing everyone to shine regardless of their skill as a storyteller. Playing this game is a breath of fresh air that never repeats itself, except in the fun and warmth of emotion it brings to your table.

Before There Were Stars… is designed by Alex Cutler, Matt Fantastic, and Alexander Wilkinson.  The art is byMarthy Angue and Lisa Falzon.

“Red Falls. Darkrock. Two towns on opposite ends of the mesa. Two towns in the middle of God’s own nowhere. You step off of the train and feel yer boots hit the red dirt as you pound the dust from yer coat. You only have iron on yer hip and a few bucks to yer name. But that doesn’t mean folks should go underestimatin’ ya. The only question to answer now is how will you make them remember yer name?”

Kolossal Games has launched Western Legends, their debut game, on Kickstarter.  Western Legends is an open-world sandbox tabletop game for 2-6 players (90-120 minutes) set in the American Wild West.  It is the first game design for Hervé Lemaître with art from  Roland MacDonald (Stop Thief, Battle Line). In Western Legends, players can play as a number of historical figures including Annie Oakley, Bass Reeves, Crazy Horse, and Doc Holliday.

Western Legends includes 12 characters, over 200 cards, a general store to display the item cards, gold nuggets, cubes, dice, chips, miniatures  and player mats.  The core game also includes hand sculpted miniatures (6 characters, 6 bandits, and hopefully a sheriff if stretch goals are met) crafted by Pure Arts (Kemet, Inis).

A pledge of $60 will get you the core game and the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals).  $75 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), and The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion.  The top tier pledge at $84 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion, and a 52 card poker deck.  You can check out the Western Legends Kickstarter here.



Compass Games Expo 2018 will be held at the Radisson Hotel Cromwell (Cromwell, CT) over Veterans Day Weekend (Nov. 9-12, 2018).  The Expo offers a special guest rate and complimentary breakfast as well as:

  • Monster Games and Open-Gaming
  • Designer-hosted Playtest Sessions
  • Tournament Play
  • Seminars
  • Group Breakfast
  • Door Prizes
  • Compass Games Exhibitor Hours for on-site sales (special attendee discounts!)

Full Expo registration fee is $45 or $20 for single-day attendance.  There is an Early Registration Special that offers a Compass Game Expo shirt for FREE if you register for the full event ($45) by January 31, 2018. The shirts are also available for purchase separately on-site for $15.

Doors open Friday, Nov. 9 at 9:00 A.M. and close Monday, Nov. 12 at 3:00 P.M.  Gaming runs around-the-clock.